Monday, January 30, 2012

Sri Aurobindo Ashram: now a battle ground

[Manoj Das Gupta (the Managing Trustee of the Ashram Trust) declared in his letters dated 5.10.2008, 8.10.2008 and 5.8.2009 that the book had “crossed all limits of simple decency!” He acknowledged that the book does in fact “denigrate Sri Aurobindo” and warned of its “potential danger” and the need to ensure that it “should reach as few readers as possible”. He claimed that he had “initiated” “a few corrective measures” with “more on the anvil”. Among them he claimed that “Legal aspects are being looked into as to whether the Indian publication may be at least modified if not stalled.” He acknowledged that the book involved theft and misuse of “access to privileged material” and recognised the publisher’s malafide motives saying “the publisher would be only too eager to exploit the situation in order to promote its sales!” In response to pleas for legal action to stop the book he wrote “if you feel that some legal action is the need of the hour, I am game for it.” From: Sraddhalu Ranade, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry To: Dr Karan Singh, Chairman, Auroville Foundation, Auroville. 23 January 2012 Sub: Letter from SAIER dated December 12, 2011 and delivered on January 14, 2012.]

Guided by survival instinct and expediency, Manoj Das Gupta has turned the Sri Aurobindo Ashram (Puducherry) into a battle ground. Since, he is neither the sole claimant to be the head nor has inheritance rights over the post, his personal career is none of our concern. Others, too, have aspirations and the required talent, and so, fairness demands that there should be rotation with fixed tenures. And, in fact, this is the method mankind has adopted the world over in order to avoid dictatorship and tyranny. But, it is a pity that Das Gupta has succumbed to incurable addiction to power and been blundering around in arrogance. [TNM55] 

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